100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #25

Harold “Hal” Foster (1892-1982)

Country: Canada & United States

Famous for: Prince Valiant, Tarzan, 

Influenced: Frank Frazetta, Dave Stevens, William Stout, Al WIlliamson, Wally Wood, Joe Kubert, Bernie Wrightson, Jeff Jones, Barry Windsor-Smith, Michael Kaluta, Carl Barks, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Bob Kane, Bill Ward, Mark Schultz, Burne Hogarth, Gary Gianni, John Buscema, Neal Adams

Influenced by: J.C. Leyendecker, Charles Dana Gibson, Franklin Booth, N.C. Wyeth, Howard Pyle

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Hal Foster was a Canadian-American illustrator and comic artist, famous for his Tarzan comics, and for creating the newspaper strip, Prince Valiant, which is still running in newspapers today, making it among the longest running comics in history. Foster is an extremely important figure in the history of comics, particularly in the action/adventure genre. It is suggested by R.C Harvey that Foster and Alex Raymond (creator of Flash Gordon) “created the visual standard by which all such comic strips would henceforth be measured.” Foster brought a dynamic realism to comics unseen before, and like Winsor McCay, was one of the first truly innovative comic artists, elevating comic art to something more than “mere children’s entertainment.” As you can see from the “influenced” list above, Foster is among the most commonly cited influences among comic artists and fantasy illustrators. 

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #24

Alberto Vargas (1896-1982)

Country: Peru

Famous for: Pinups

Influenced: Dave Stevens, Modern pinup artists, good-girl art

Influenced by: Raphael Kirchner, Charles Dana Gibson, French Fashion Illustration

Alberto Vargas is, along with Gil Elvgren, the most well-known pinup artist in the world. Vargas is famous for his long-bodied, classic females, of which he primarily used an airbrush to create. These paintings would be referred to as the Vargas girls, much in the same vein as Charles Dana Gibson’s Gibson Girl, but indicative of a new era. Vargas painted many of his pieces for Esquire magazine, during the WWII period; The nose and body-art of many WWII aircraft were fashioned after the Esquire pinups, leading Vargas to much popularity. His work would be used in Playboy magazine through the 1950s and 60s, giving him the financial stability and exposure he wanted.  

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #23

Al Hirschfeld (1903-2003)

Country: United States

Famous for: Caricatures, Line-drawings

Influenced: Matt Hirschfeld, Caricature art, Humor art, Animation

Influenced by: Charles Dana Gibson, John Held Jr., Miguel Covarrubias

Al Hirschfeld studied at the Art Students League of New York, and is one of the most influential caricaturists to ever live. Hirschfeld is known for his very stylized and expressive caricatures of celebrities, of which he has done thousands. His work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, TV Guide, Life Magazine and more. Among being influential to caricaturists and humorists, his work has influenced the look of many animators and their animations. He is said to have worked entirely using an authentic Crow-quill pen, and is one of the true masters of using just line. 

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #22

Andrew Loomis (1892-1959)

Country: United States

Famous for: Advertisement art, Instructional books

Influenced: Alex Ross, Steve Rude, Gil Elvgren, Art Instruction

Influenced by: George Bridgman, Howard Pyle, Charles Dana Gibson, N.C Wyeth, J.C Leyendecker, 

Andrew Loomis was an American illustrator that worked on tons of advertisements, in large formats such as billboards, as well as smaller formats such as magazine ads, packaging design and displays. Though he was one of the premier illustrators of his day, Loomis had enormous success with a series of instructional books detailing the illustrator’s process. Taught by George Bridgman, who was famous for his instructional anatomy books, Loomis’ books include: Figure Drawing for All its Worth, Creative Illustration, Drawing the Head and Hands, Successful Drawing, Fun with a Pencil, and Eye of the Painter. These books were reprinted hundreds of times, and are among the most commonly cited resources by illustrators for those wanting to pursue any kind of art-related career. These books cover everything from Perspective, Anatomy, Color, Composition, Value, Design and everything in-between, all taught with a quaint sense of humor and nice, light-hearted demeanor.  

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #21

Dean Cornwell (1892-1960)

Country: United States

Famous for: Harper’s Bazaar, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Book Illustration, War Posters

Influenced: Norman Rockwell, Art & Illustration Instruction

Influenced by: Architectural drawings, Harvey Dunn, Howard Pyle, Frank Brangwyn, N.C. Wyeth

Taught by Harvey Dunn, Dean Cornwell was an American illustrator, known for his magazine, book, and advertising illustration. By the 1930s and 40s, much like James Montgomery Flagg, Cornwell’s patriotic war posters were found all over the country, and became a household name because of them. Cornwell was known as “The Dean of Illustrators” and was president of the Society of Illustrators between 1922 and 1926, and became a full Academician at the National Academy of Design in 1940. His theories and instructional thoughts on the illustrator’s process are still used today in many art-schools and academies. 

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #20

J.C. Leyendecker (1874-1951)

Country: United States

Famous for: Saturday Evening Post, Arrow Collars, Advertising Art, Poster Art, Magazine Art

Influenced: Norman Rockwell, Drew Struzan, Dave Stevens, Alex Ross, 

Influenced by: Howard Pyle, John Vanderpoel

J.C Leyendecker was a German-born American illustrator, is among the most prolific in American illustration history, and is known for his expressive, but very structured brushstrokes, and the planar and angular quality of his figures and drapery. Leyendecker was very closely associated with the magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, and until the arrival of Norman Rockwell, who was heavily influenced by Leyendecker, there was not a single artist more closely associated with a single publication than him. He also formed a long-lasting relationship with the Arrow Collars company, with which he created the very popular Arrow Collar Man, an ideal male figure closely resembling Charles Dana Gibson’s iconic female counterpart, the Gibson Girl. Leyendecker became among the most popular and recognizable American illustrators of his time, when the competition was fierce, with illustrators such as James Montgomery Flagg, Maxfield Parrish, and N.C. Wyeth being his competitors. With how much influence Leyendecker had back in his day, it is said that he virtually invented the whole idea of modern magazine design. 

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #19

Willy Pogany (1882-1955)

Country: Hungary

Famous for: Children’s books, fairy tales, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Tannhauser, Parsifal

Influenced: Frank Frazetta, Michael Kaluta

Influenced by: Art Nouveau, Albrecht Durer, Iconography, Illuminated Manuscripts

Willy Pogany was a prolific Hungarian children’s book illustrator, with a style much in the same vein as Franklin Booth. Because of his distinct line-work, he has also been an influence on comic artists, including Frank Frazetta. Pogany’s work wasn’t tied down to one style either, as he chose whatever style he felt was appropriate for each of the 150+ books he illustrated. Pogany was heavily influenced by Art Nouveau styles, as well as religious iconography and medieval illuminated manuscripts. During his career, Pogany also published many instructional books. 

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #18

Ludwig Hohlwein (1874-1949)

Country: Germany

Famous for: Advertisement art, Poster art, 

Influenced: Michael Schwab, Nancy Stahl, Poster art, Graffiti 

Influenced by: The Beggarstaff Brothers, 

Ludwig Hohlwein is perhaps one of the most influential poster artists to ever live, but is unfortunately on the obscure side in today’s knowledge of illustration. He designed thousands of advertisements and posters during his career. Hohlwein pioneered the use of what can now be referred to as Posterization or the graphic simplification of form. In other words, before digital tools came around, Hohlwein made heavy use of what is now very often done in vector programs such as Adobe Illustrator, as well as stencil-based graffiti. Hohlwein was also a great pioneer of the use of typography within his illustrations, becoming a master of both the illustration and design sides of his craft. 

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #17

Winsor McCay (1871-1934)

Country: United States

Famous for: Little Nemo in Slumberland, Gertie the Dinosaur, Political cartoons

Influenced: Disney, Carl Barks, Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Ron Cobb, Maurice Sendak, Berke Breathed

Influenced by: Alphonse Mucha, Art Nouveau, Poetry, Albrecht Durer, Gustave Doré

Winsor McCay was an American illustrator, cartoonist and animator, most well known for his comic-strip series, Little Nemo. He became a master of linear perspective, as evidenced by his comics and cartoons, and he also experimented with page layout and panel layout quite a bit. Few other comics would try to be as bold and experimental as his until comic illustrators like Hal Foster and Roy Crane came into popularity. McCay was also an early animation guru, creating such films as Gertie the Dinosaur and The Sinking of the Lusitania. In the field of animation, he pioneered the use of techniques such as inbetweening and cycling, which became industry standards from that point forward. He was a very ambitious artist and completed 10 animated films of his own between 1911 and 1921. 

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #16

J Allen St. John (1872-1957)

Country: United States

Famous for: Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Pulp Art

Influenced: Frank Frazetta, Roy Krenkel, William Stout, Frank Cho, Pulp Artists, Fantasy Artists

Influenced by: William Merritt Chase, Howard Pyle

J Allen St. John was an American Illustrator and Author, and one of the leading artists in pulp stories. His work very heavily influenced many fantasy artists, in particular, Roy Krenkel and Frank Frazetta. If Frazetta is considered the father of modern fantasy art, then St. John is the genre’s grandfather. St. John  was well known for his work in many different publications, but became most widely known for his illustrations of the fantasy and science-fiction stories written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, most notably, Tarzan and John Carter of Mars. 

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #15

Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) & Edmund Dulac (1882-1953)

Country: Rackham- England; Dulac- France

Famous for: Alice in Wonderland, Rip Van Wrinkle, Gulliver’s Travels, Numerous Fairy Tales

Influenced: Brian Froud, Alan Lee, John Howe, Paul Bonner, Barry Windsor-Smith, 

Influenced by: Albrecht Durer, Japanese Woodblock printing, The Pre-Raphaelites

Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac are among the most influential fantasy & fairy tale illustrators, known for their many book illustrations. Among the notable illustrated titles between them were Alice in Wonderland, Rip Van Wrinkle, Peter Pan, Grimm Fairy Tales, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Arabian Nights, The Little Mermaid, Hans Christian Andersen stories and many more. Their work has become iconic and has inspired modern fantasy illustrators such as Brian Froud, Alan Lee, John Howe and Paul Bonner as well as the Disney film adaptations of the stories they illustrated. 

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #14

Franklin Booth (1874-1948)

Country: United States

Famous for: Scribners, Harpers, Posters, Book Illustrations

Influenced: James Montgomery Flagg, Dean Cornwell, Milton Caniff, Bernie Wrightson, Roy Krenkel, Frank Cho

Influenced by: Gustave Doré, Albrecht Durer, Woodcuts

Franklin Booth, like Charles Dana Gibson and James Montgomery Flagg is one of the most well-known master Pen & Ink illustrators of his day. Booth illustrated for numerous publications, books, posters and advertisements. He developed a style that imitated wood or metal engravings, but with thousands of perfectly-placed lines with ink. Because of his inking style, Booth has had a very profound impact on modern comic artists and their work, with such talented illustrators such as Bernie Wrightson, Roy Krenkel and Frank Cho being heavily influenced by it. 

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #13

Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966)

Country: United States

Famous for: Arabian Nights, Various Fantasy and Fairy Tales

Influenced: Norman Rockwell, Richard Corben, Hannes Bok, Roger Dean, Psychedelic art, Poster art

Influenced by: Howard Pyle, Neo-Classical art, Pre-Raphaelites, Michelangelo, Titian

Maxfield Parrish was an American painter and illustrator known for his many illustrations of various fairy tales and fantasy stories. His work is characterized by very saturated colors, lush, detailed backgrounds and figures, and his almost iconographical compositions. Parrish was yet another student of Howard Pyle’s, but didn’t have as much of a long-lasting relationship as his other notable students had. Parrish developed a glazing style using very thin layers of paint to build up color, this allowed his colors to become very rich and saturated, and the process gave his work a very three-dimensional quality. His process has been compared to the more modern 4 color printing process of using plates of CMYK. Artists such as Richard Corben have used the CMYK process to their benefit, and Corben himself is influenced by Parrish’s work immensely. 

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #12 

The New Woman Illustrators:

Jessie Wilcox Smith (1863-1935), Violet Oakley (1874-1961), Elizabeth Shippen Green (1871-1954), Rose O’Neill (1874-1944).

Country: United States

Famous for: Smith- The Water Babies, Scribners; Oakley- Colliers, St. Nicholas Magazine; Green- Children’s books, Harpers; O’Neill- Kewpie Dolls, Dark Fantasy, Creatures

Influenced: Jeff Jones, Brad Holland, 

Influenced by: Howard Pyle, The Pre-Raphaelites, Gustave Doré

New Woman was a movement made by women to become more vocal, confident, and prominent in arts, business and politics, as more educational opportunities opened up to them in the late 19th century. The illustrators above all became very successful creating work for books, magazines, posters and tons more, and rivaled their male competitors. Jessie Wilcox Smith, Violet Oakley, and Elizabeth Shippen Green were all students of the legendary Howard Pyle, which is how the three of them met and became close friends. Pyle would call these three The Red Rose Girls, named after where the three of them had lived together while working. Rose O’Neill was another prominent female illustrator at the time, and perhaps surpassed the other three aforementioned artists in both success and popularity. O’Neill created the famous Kewpie characters, and because of them, became the highest paid female illustrator in the world. She also liked to draw various fantasy creatures as shown above. It is because of this movement that female illustrators were treated with the same reverence as the males. 

100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #11

James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960)

Country: United States

Famous for: Uncle Sam, Propaganda & Recruitment Posters, Cartoons, Caricatures

Influenced: Norman Rockwell, American Culture, Propaganda poster art

Influenced by: John Singer Sargent, Charles Dana Gibson

James Montgomery Flagg was an American Illustrator, Cartoonist and Painter. Early on in his career, it is said that Flagg was hired to imitate Charles Dana Gibson because he was a master of pen & ink illustration, but was cheaper to hire than Gibson, due to his astronomical prices at the time. Flagg was very accomplished from an early age, having his work published in leading humor magazines by age 15. He became extremely well-known for his illustrations of Uncle Sam, which are among the most iconic and instantly recognizable images in all of modern culture. Because of his patriotic images, Flagg was perhaps the most influential artist of his time.